Xi inspects troops as China's military might on show

Editor:Sharon Lee
Updated:2017-08-01 09:11:57

Xi inspects troops as China's military might on show

  The flag raising ceremony during the military parade at Zhurihe training base in North China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region Sunday, July 30, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua]

  President Xi Jinping urged the People's Liberation Army to spare no efforts to become a world-class military after inspecting troops in the Chinese military's first field parade in several decades.

  Xi, who is also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, said the country was close to realizing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and, therefore, a mighty military was much needed to safeguard the process.

  He told PLA's top commanders and officers and soldiers who just staged a parade in front of him on Sunday morning to stick to the Party's leadership, to continue serving the people, to further improve their combat capability and to deepen the reform and boost innovation.

  "I am convinced that our heroic armed forces are confident and capable of defeating enemies daring to provoke us, of safeguarding our sovereignty, security and development interests ´ and of making new contributions to the China Dream and world peace," he said.

  The PLA carried out a field parade on Sunday morning at the Zhurihe Training Base in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region to mark its 90th anniversary that falls on Tuesday.

  Hundreds of large weapons and equipment, many of them never shown to the public before, and 12,000 troops took part in the grand parade.

  It's the first time the PLA have held a parade at an exercise field in nearly four decades.

  In 1981, a parade was performed at a training base in North China and witnessed by the late Party leader Deng Xiaoping. Three parades have been staged at Tian'anmen Square in Beijing since then in 1999, 2009 and 2015.

  Sunday's event was also the first parade specifically organized to celebrate a founding anniversary of the PLA.

  It represents the PLA's determination to become a top military in the world.

Xi inspects troops as China's military might on show

  Troops prepare for a military parade at Zhurihe training base in North China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region, July 30, 2017. The parade was held to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese People's Liberation Army. [Photo by Feng Yongbin/China Daily]

  On Aug 1, 1927, the then young Communist Party of China, which was founded in July 1921, led a military uprising in Nanchang, Jiangxi province.

  It established its own armed force in the hopes of liberating the Chinese people from the hands of the Kuomintang rulers, local warlords and foreign imperialists.

  The date was later commemorated as the birth of the PLA, known as the Chinese Workers' and Peasants' Red Army for a long time soon after the Nanchang Uprising. The current name was formally adopted in 1947, two years prior to the founding of the New China.

  Troops attending Sunday's parade had just finished a field training at the Zhurihe base, the largest exercise field in Asia. The training was part of the military's annual routine exercise plan, the Defense Ministry said.

  General Han Weiguo, commander of the PLA Central Theater Command which arranged the parade on orders of the Central Military Commission, said the event displayed the PLA's new structure and achievements made through President Xi's overhaul of the military in the past few years.

  He said that the parade was characterized by its "closeness to combat", explaining that participating officers and soldiers were in battle uniforms with their weapons and equipment in combat-ready status. The military sent 12,000 troops, about 600 land and naval weapons, and nearly 130 aircraft to participate in the parade.

Xi inspects troops as China's military might on show

  Twenty-four helicopters fly in the formation of the number "90" symbolizing the epic journey of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) in 90 years during a military parade at Zhurihe training base in North China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region, July 30, 2017.[Photo by Feng Yongbin/China Daily]

  Seventeen attack helicopters then flew through the parade zone, forming two Chinese characters meaning August 1, the anniversary of the PLA. They were followed by another 24 helicopters that flew in the shape of the Arabic numerals of 90, symbolizing the 90-year history of the Chinese military.

  Immediately afterwards, the PLA Ground Force's airborne assault unit made its public debut when 18 transport helicopters, guarded by eight attack helicopters landed and hundreds of soldiers disembarked at a rough training ground in front of the stage.

  The tactic of using helicopters carrying troops to penetrate enemy defense was the first time the PLA has shown off fighting maneuvers in a parade.